In the last blog post we already described who benfits from pro bono activities and why it is so important. In the following we will talk specifically about so-called “Pro-Bono Days”. We from vostel.de regularly organise such days in collaboration with companies. During a Pro-Bono-Day, we match employees who want to use their skills for a good cause with people from NPOs who are in need of those professional skills.
Once a date is set, the NPOs are invited to the company who is hosting the Pro Bono Day to meet the employees who would like to support them. After everyone has had time to settle in, the NPO members are introduced to the assigned employee. After that, an intensive session of approximately 6 hours will be dedicated to work on the challenges of the NPOs.
At the end of the day, everyone shares their experiences and most importantly, how the challenges have been overcome.
To give you a better idea, we have asked two participants from our last Pro Bono Day at Zalando, to tell us about their experiences.
Perspectives from an NPO and company employee
Ryan (Events officer at International Civil Society Centre)
Meet Ryan, who works as an events officer at International Civil Society Centre, a non-profit which supports international civil society organisations to maximise their impact for a sustainable and more equitable world. Ryan participated in one of our Pro Bono Days since the NPO he is working for had a problem that needed to be solved. They were confronted with the question “how do we digitise our project management while ensuring that it is possible to involve meaningful contributions from a wide range of internal and external stakeholders?”.
As you can see, Ryan and his organisation had a very specific challenge to overcome. Professional knowledge would be of immense support. We from vostel.de took care of the matching process. We wanted to ensure that Ryan’s specific challenge could be tackled with an employee from Zalando who has exactly the skills that are needed.
For everyone who organises Pro Bono activities: creating suitable matches between the needs and the skills is the key element which decides if benefits are created for both sides! Only if the matching is done right, both, the NPOs and the employees can work together. Imagine a graphic designer is matched with an NPO who has problems setting up their newly donated laptops. Would the NPO receive the support they need? Definitely not. Would the graphic designer have the feeling that he or she is using professional skills in a meaningful way? No! Would it be a different experience if an IT professional would have been matched with the NPO? Yes! A carefully considered matching ensures achievements and needs to be taken into account.
Ivan (IT-consultant at Zalando)
Now, it is time to meet Ivan, IT consultant at Zalando and the perfect match for Ryan’s challenge: “I started doing pro bono in early 2015 while working in IT Consulting domain in Ukraine and also studying in the Lviv Business School. I continued this practice after moving to Germany, and now it is a big part of my professional life”.
Ivan does not only have a vast experience in Pro Bono activities, he also shared with us his list of reasons why everyone should consider Pro Bono work.